This Day in History — June 21

Thursday, June 21, 2018

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Today the 172nd day of 2018. There are 193 days left in the year.


2013: A one-page criminal complaint unsealed in federal court accuses former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden of espionage and theft of government property in the NSA surveillance case.


1798: British, under Lord Lake, defeat Irish rebels at Vinegar Hill and enter Wexford, stronghold of Irish Rebellion.

1871: The French consul and some 20 other foreigners are killed by a mob in Tientsin, an attack that almost leads the European powers to attack China.

1887: Britain annexes Zululand, blocking Transvaal's attempts to gain access to Africa's coast.

1945: Japanese forces on Okinawa surrender to Americans in World War II.

1960: Britain, France, Netherlands, and United States provide for a Caribbean organisation for economic cooperation.

1963: France withdraws Atlantic naval forces from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

1965: Army officer Houari Boumedienne organises new government in Algeria after ousting and arresting President Ahmed Ben Bella.

1970: Indochina war erupts on dozen fronts in heaviest fighting since Vietnam conflict spread to Cambodia in April.

1971: International Court of Justice in the Hague rules that South Africa's administration of territory of south-west Africa is illegal.

1976: Rioting breaks out in black townships around Pretoria in South Africa.

1989: A sharply divided Supreme Court rules that burning the American flag as a form of political protest was protected by the First Amendment.

1990: Massive earthquake strikes northern Iran, killing as many as 100,000.

1991: Croatian troops launch a drive against Knin, the capital of the rebel Serbs, gaining some ground.

1992: Ethiopians vote in their country's first multi-party elections, but balloting is marred by opposition boycotts.

1994: US President Bill Clinton's Administration offers North Korea high-level talks if it will confirm a willingness to halt its nuclear programme.

1996: In Managua, Nicaragua, dozens of election officials who had been kidnapped and held for two days by rearmed Contra rebels are released.

1997: The United States, France and Russia agree to toughen sanctions against Iraq until UN inspectors confirm Baghdad is cooperating in the elimination of its weapons of mass destruction.

2000: Chile's Senate approves a plan aimed at investigating what happened to 1,000 people who disappeared during the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

2001: A US federal grand jury indicts 13 Saudis and one Lebanese in the 1996 bombing that killed 19 Americans servicemen in Saudi Arabia.

2002: Brazilians celebrate their team's Soccer World Cup victory over England as the real, the nation's currency, hits an all-time low against the US dollar and stocks plunge.

2003: Iran says it will increase its cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, but suggests that the country will keep up controversial plans to enrich uranium. The United States accuses Iran of trying to build a nuclear bomb. Iran denies the charge.

2004: Assailants armed with grenade- and rocket-launchers seize the Interior Ministry headquarters in Ingushetia, a Russian region bordering warring Chechnya, killing the acting minister, local officials report.

2005: An 80-year-old former Ku Klux Klansman is convicted of manslaughter in the slayings of three civil rights workers that shocked the US exactly 41 years ago and helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

2006: The parties behind Ukraine's Orange Revolution agree to form a coalition government, ending talks to preserve a pro-Western Administration that has sought to shed Russia's influence.

2007: International efforts to shut down North Korea's nuclear programme take a surprise turn when the US sends a top American official to Pyongyang for direct talks, the first high-level visit by a US official there in more than 4 years.

2008: The Olympic torch winds through the streets of Tibet's capital Lhasa, the scene of bloody riots in March that helped fuel demonstrations at some of the flame's international stops. Tight security accompanies the flame on its three-hour journey.

2009: Mexico deploys 1,500 more troops to the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez where homicides related to the drug trade have surged.

2010: A Pakistan-born US citizen pleads guilty to trying to bomb New York's Times Square and says he is “part of the answer to the US terrorising the Muslim nations and the Muslim people”.

2011: Argentine President Cristina Fernandez says she will seek re-election in October vote.

2012: A Syrian fighter pilot flies his MiG-21 warplane to neighbouring Jordan where he is immediately given asylum in a defection from the fiercely loyal air force that signals some of the most iron-clad allegiances in Damascus could be fraying.

2013: US President Barack Obama nominates James Comey, a top Bush-era Justice official, to head the FBI, succeeding Robert Mueller. The Food Network says it is dropping Paula Deen, barely an hour after the celebrity cook posted the first of two videotaped apologies online begging forgiveness from fans and critics troubled by her admission to having used racial slurs in the past.

2017: A man armed with a knife wounds a police officer at Flint International Airport in Michigan; a Tunisian-born Canadian resident has been charged in the attack.


Jean-Paul Sartre, French existentialist (1905-1980); Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan (1953-2007); Jane Russell, US actress (1921-2011); Francoise Quoirez (Francoise Sagan), French author (1933-2004); Meredith Baxter, US actress (1947- ); Michael Gross, US actor (1947- ); Juliette Lewis, US actress (1973- )

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